Fantasy Football 2012 Rankings: Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford

If 2011 proved anything to football fans, it was that Matthew Stafford can be one of the best quarterbacks in the league after the former No. 1 pick helped the Detroit Lions end their 13-year long playoff drought and even became the fourth player in NFL history to break the 5,000-yard mark–which is why he deserves to be the fourth-best quarterback heading into the fantasy football 2012 season.

On top of throwing for 5,038 yards, Stafford also threw for 41 touchdown passes during the regular season–which is impressive for a player that had yet to play all 16 games during the regular season. Stafford was heavily criticized over the first two years of his career as he was seen as a player who could never stay healthy after playing in just 13 games, but all of those doubts seem to be all but gone now heading into 2012 and expectations are even higher for the Lions.

Not only does Detroit have one of the league’s top quarterbacks in the NFL in Stafford, but it also helps that he has one of the best wide receivers in the NFL with Calvin Johnson–which obviously makes things easier for any quarterback. The Lions are no longer the laughing stock of the NFL and Stafford’s performance from 2011 proves he deserves a place in the category of top-five quarterbacks.

So what will Stafford do for an encore presentation in 2012 after what he accomplished last season? Well, if he managed to throw for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns in his first full season at quarterback–fantasy owners will be sure to jump on Stafford early in the first few rounds of most drafts.

Fantasy Football Top 10 Quarterback Rankings:

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Drew Brees
3. Tom Brady
4. Matthew Stafford
5. Cam Newton
6. Eli Manning
7. Michael Vick
8. Philip Rivers
9. Tony Romo
10. Ben Roethlisberger